Oil Kings One Win Away From WHL Title

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(ISN) – The Portland Winterhawks fell 4-3 Thursday in Edmonton in Game 5 of the WHL Final. The Oil Kings lead the series 3-2 and can clinch the WHL title Saturday night in Portland.

The Hawks took an early lead just 1:45 into the game when Sven Bartschi fed Marcel Noebels in front of the net, who beat Edmonton goaltender Laurent Brossoit for the early 1-0 edge. The Oil Kings got that one back with two minutes to go in the frame when Jordan Peddle scored to make it 1-1 going into the second period.

Edmonton took their first lead of the game at the 4:44 mark of the second when Griffin Reinhart scored to make it 2-1 Oil Kings, but just 43 seconds later the Hawks tied it when Ty Rattie scored a power play goal in a scramble in front of the net. The goal was Rattie’s 19th of the playoffs, tying the franchise record for goals in a playoff year, set by Dan Woodley in 1987.

The Oil Kings regained the lead at the 7:20 mark on Peddle’s second of the game to make it 3-2, a lead they took into the third.

Portland evened the game at 3-3 at the 5:07 mark of the third when Bartschi scored his 14th goal of the playoffs. The game remained tied until Oil Kings defenseman Mark Pysyk scored with 56 seconds remaining to give Edmonton the win.

Mac Carruth made 31 saves on 35 shots, while Brossoit turned away 28 of Portland’s 31 shots. The Hawks were 1-4 on the power play and 3-3 on the penalty kill.

Game 6 of the series is set for Saturday at 6 p.m. back in Portland at the Rose Garden. That game is already sold out.

Christian J. Stewart
Christian is a professional photographer and media professional based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Currently working as the Assistant General Manager for Victoria HarbourCats Baseball Club, a Senior Contributing Editor and photographer at Independent Sports News (ISN) and operating his own freelance photography and media/pr company.